Anyone who was paying attention will have noticed that the winning title among those suggested by readers for David Moyes’s post-game e-mails, which Salut! Sunderland will get round every matchday or soon afterwards to posting, was “Moyes on the Boys”.
So the author the phrase qualifies for the promised mug …
Snag. The rules are that the recipient of Salut! Sunderland prize mugs must have a UK delivery address. The winner, signed JEL but turning out to be Jennifer Lowery, lives thousands of miles away in the Caribbean and her “UK forwarding address is a houseful of Mags”, implying a high risk of broken crockery never mind the fate of any neighbouring horses that neighed in protest.
Jennifer kindly suggested either a) donating it to a child who might appreciate it or b) recycling it for Guess the Score. Let’s go for the first (a third might have been for Monsieur Salut to stump up the postage but I’m sure that too, would have been contrary to Jennifer’s wishes).
So this is the challenge to our merry band of readers. Nominate any deserving recipient aged 16 or under – the mug will contain the boy or girl’s name as No 12 in the dressing room image – and say in a dozen words or fewer why he or she should receive it. To maintain the usual spirit of prize mug awards, the child need not be a Sunderland supporter, but feel free to stop any pocket money for as long as it takes.
We’ll make an arbitrary decision as to which is the best, most compelling or wittiest reason and the nominee will be sent the mug. To somewhere in the UK!
Here’s her part of the Mackem Diaspora story, provided at my request:
I am in the small Caribbean island of Nevis (Neevis) part of the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis, totally anglophone.
I’ve been a supporter for 50+ years, from being a pupil at Houghton Grammar School. I remember winning class sweepstakes on cup matches, but I can’t remember what we bet on (time of goal?, person to score?). I wasn’t a regular at Roker Park, maybe two or three games a season, but I did see Russia v Italy there in the 1966 World Cup (as, of course, did our own Sixer).
All my working life after university has been spent in the West Indies, in five different countries, but I have been settled in Nevis for 35 years. I’m an “ought to be retired but not yet” landscape gardener and to the best of my knowledge the only Sunderland supporter on the island.
I know of one Mag, who I am responsible for bringing here, one supporter each of Liverpool, Spurs, Norwich, a couple of Leeds and Leicester returnees and of course some authentic and manufactured Man Us.
For most of my years out here, supporting Sunderland was limited to maybe hearing Saturday’s results on the World Service or coming across the occasional English Sunday newspaper so I became a cricket enthusiast (West Indies specifically) and what more rewarding team to support during the 70s and 80s?
Then came the internet and I was introduced to the term “Mackem” for the first time (this was never a label in my youth), then broadband, and I was hooked again and now watch almost every game for the season.
Locally, football has become much more popular and much better organised over the past 10 years. The St Kitts Nevis National team has recently reached the heady nosebleed heights of 80th in FIFA rankings, the squad are about 50-50 locally born playing locally or regionally, the captain has had a long career in MLS; and then there are players with Kittitian heritage who play for teams from Brentford through Gainsborough Trinity to Sporting Khalsa.
Joleon Lescott could probably play for the national team through his grandparents if he were so inclined.
I don’t remember how I first came across the Salut Sunderland site, but for the last two or three years I have been a regular visitor. I appreciate its literacy and particularly enjoy Pete Sixsmith’s contributions.
Currently, like a lot of people, I’m a bit disillusioned with SAFC, the Premier League, billionaire owners etc etc. FC United of Sunderland anybody?
* One delicious postcript. I had asked Jennifer for a photograph, which she said she would pass on. I looked forward to one being passed on to me and said so. Oops. “The message re the photo was actually – I’ll pass rather than pass on. But I’ve relented and chosen one from my meagre stock.”